8 smart tips to beat sunshine glare

The setting (or rising) sun during "rush" hours can temporarily blind drivers. Make sure you're protected - read our handy guide.

KIA: Now it's the edgy, wedgy Koup

Kia continues to pleasantly surprise the South African car market with its growing product choice. The addition of the sexily sporty, 225km/h, Koup, says DAVE FALL, has just made things even better.

Four-door body - but with style!

2010-10-18 09:01

WHERE STYLE REALLY COUNTS: The VW Amarok as it was shown for the first time at the Geneva auto salon.

The VW Amarok is launched in a four-door layout with a crew-cab configuration (Double Cab) - the Single Cab version will follow in 2011.

In concept and styling, the Amarok - at a length of up to 5.25m - is like a bakkie from a stylish copybook: straightforward in design with a confident and rugged stature, the linearity of its styling makes it an especially classy vehicle. It is also based 1:1 on the new Volkswagen “design DNA” with design features also found on the latest Polo and the new generation of the T5 range.

Front end: One of the most distinctive features of this design are the horizontal lines emphasised at the bakkie’s front. This feature is especially apparent on the upper radiator grille with its two black louvres that extend across the front end like stacked blades. On the Amarok Trendline and Highline, these are trimmed in stylish chrome.

As graphic elements they span laterally to the very technically styled headlights, defining their essential layout. On each side of the front the upper line separates the integrated turn signals from the round reflectors of the running lights before curving upward. This gives the front end of the vehicle an expression that is both positive and confident.

Ample ground clearance

The styling of the Amarok also generates excitement with its clearly organised, dynamically curved surfaces. This is typified by the front spoiler with integrated lower cooling air inlet and round front fog lights, which in the top equipment line have circular chrome surrounds.

The concave lower edge of the front bumper, sculpted in the form of a sump guard, emphasises the Amarok’s ample ground clearance – a clear indication of the bakkie’s excellent off-road qualities with optional 4MOTION all-wheel drive.

The highly compressed harmony of the styling is also reflected in the extremely taut engine hood. Styled with a broad and full surface, it is framed laterally by a fender contour that develops from the vehicle’s front end and extends into the A pillars with cleanly sculpted curves.

Side profile: Each line, each seam and each transition has a precise function and serves a clear purpose. For example, the shoulder line – one of whose functions is to frame the row of side windows – originates at the front spoiler level and springs upward. This line is also worked into the upper border of the load bed side panel, giving the Amarok an appearance of ruggedness and solidity that is very typical of bakkies.

This impression is reinforced by the prominent and generously sized fender flares. They are standard on the Highline but are also offered in combination with the optional 18 or 19” wheels.

Design + functionality

Powerful elegance defines the overall side profile of the Amarok Double Cab. It's based, first of all, on the contrasting black window frames of the B pillar, which visually enlarge the glass surface area. Second, a line running parallel to the upper tornado line emerges in the lower door area. This line extends rearward like a sinewy muscle – interrupted just briefly by the rear wheel well – and finally merges into the rear bumper.

Rear: Styling does not stand on its own, rather it always supports functionality. An example is the two-part bumper at the rear of the Amarok. It enables lower positioning of the rear step plate, offering easier access to the load-bed. At the same time, precisely shaped body panels make it possible to swing the load-bearing tailgate down 90 degrees, forming a continuous level plane with the load bed.

The smooth surface of the closed tailgate reflects the high standards of its designers. It shows high value and at its centre it sports a boldly sized VW logo. The rear lights on the sides have a distinctive signature that expresses a unique night look. They do not extend into the tailgate. This protects the lights from damage, and it also makes it possible to drive with an open tailgate when transporting extra long cargo.

The Amarok is 5.254m long. With a trailer hitch the length is 5.321m The bakkie’s overall width is 1.944m; in the version with fender flares the width increases to 1.954m and the bakkie is 1.834m tall.

Driver's lucky escape

2013-09-03 07:42

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.